Last week I wrote about things going wrong, and that is just part of the ride. The other part is the emotional roller-coaster and moments come when you feel the ground underneath you dissolve.
I said I would talk about the good and the bad and this is a post about the latter.
I want this to be a real How-To-Expedition guide and so I will be absolutely transparent in telling you all that I am not special. I do not have super powers, or unique advantages, or money. This entire effort from the moment I quit my starting attorney job has been the adventure. Every bit of forward progress feels that it takes me away from the safety of the familiar and into the abandoned empty spaces on the map of life; those parts where no one would even know that you need help, much less how to find you.
To deal with the challenge, I have made my life positive to the point it would probably make you puke candy and kittens. I have started meditating, eating healthy, exercising, and planning my days around an a reasonable to-do list. I even call this list “Goals” to mitigate against the possibility that items left undone are a sort of failure. I listen to motivational speeches and positive music all the time including to go to sleep.
Two days ago, I even promised myself that no matter what I would keep my mind positive; no matter what. Yesterday was the first test and I failed miserably. I spent the entire day in what felt like circling around the toilet and there was no consoling me; I was the proverbial Debbie Downer.
But these extreme lows keep your feet on the ground so you can keep moving.
By the end of the day, after pizza and a walk outside to enjoy the weather, I felt normal again. “It’s just chemicals in your brain,” is what I tell myself during such episodes, “and they happen now so that when you’re in a real crisis, you will know how to function and be effective.”
I am sure everyone feels like this whether it is after a bad break-up, losing a job or contract, or just plain living life. We all go through this and it’s part of being human. I read that feeling depressed is even an evolutionary advantage because it creates incentive for us to become obsessed with finding solutions to impossible problems – and statistically that means we resolve things that seem impossible. Apparently depression also boosts your immune system.
My personal lesson is that I am exposing myself to the harshest environments to develop strength in myself to face them.
Whether it is extreme cold, extreme heat, high seas, or if it is depression, failure, loneliness, or money, or … whatever; what I know is that I’m dealing with it today when I am young enough to figure out a way to move forward. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but it sure is beautiful when it is.